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😷 Florida is now leading the country in newly reported cases of COVID-19. Experts say the current surge in the U.S. and around the world is being caused by the more infectious Delta variant. According to the Tampa Bay Times, one in five new infections comes from Florida, and the Sunshine State’s caseload has nearly doubled over the last week: 45,604 cases were reported between July 9 and July 15, a significant jump from 23,697 the previous week.
The rise comes not long after Governor Ron DeSantis’ website debuted a new line of merchandise bearing the slogan “Don’t Fauci My Florida”. Locally, Miami-Dade has one of the highest vaccination rates in the state: 58.4% of the population is fully vaccinated, and roughly 75% of the eligible population has received at least one shot.
In other news…
🛳 In related news, a federal appeals court sided with the Centers for Disease Control in its legal battle with DeSantis over pandemic-related rules for cruise lines. A three-judge panel issued an order over the weekend requiring the federal agency’s rules concerning COVID-19 and cruise ships to stay in place. The governor said yesterday that he intends to appeal the decision and vowed to bring it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary. (Associated Press / Miami Herald)
📰 More demonstrations protesting the Cuban government took place across Miami over the weekend. This included a march at Freedom Tower on Saturday as well as a rally at Versailles in Little Havana on Sunday. Additionally, a caravan from South Florida traveled to Washington, D.C. to gather outside the White House on Saturday and demand the Biden administration to intervene in Cuba. (Miami New Times / Local 10)
❌ The next edition of “Illuminate Coral Gables” planned for 2022 has been canceled. The decision follows demands by Coral Gables Mayor Vince Lago that the popular light display drop two artists accused of harboring communist sympathies. As pointed out by the Miami Herald, the move is the latest entry in a long history of city and county officials censoring — or “canceling,” if you will — anyone perceived to be associated with communism in a positive light. (Miami Herald)
➡️ Residents have been ordered to evacuate two more Miami Beach buildings that have been declared unsafe. One property, La Costa, is an oceanfront condo with 124 units that was just purchased by the Coconut Grove-based group Mast Capital; occupants have until Monday, August 16 to vacate the premises. Meanwhile, inhabitants at Devon Apartments had to be out of their apartments by yesterday. (The Real Deal / CBS Miami)